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Reycling and Upcycling. A difference with consequences and opportunities
In upcycling, used objects that would otherwise end up in the trash, for example, are transformed into usable products and thus reused. A nice example for those interested in art are the readymades, for example by Marcel Duchamp.
For example, textiles that were articles of clothing can be used to cover furniture. Old cell phones that can no longer be used in a contemporary way may be given a new life as simple hotspots that connect to computers via the Internet, or they may be used as mere cameras. Worn-out car tires become ship bollards or seating. The possibilities are endless.
Unlike recycling, upcycling does not mechanically or chemically break down items into their original components (such as shredding them into plastic recyclate), but uses them as they are. In the process, they experience a “new life.” The energy required for recycling is not necessary. Therefore, in addition to providing material for products or applications, the principle of upcycling also contributes directly to climate protection.
Through recycling and upcycling, resources are reintroduced into the value chain. Fewer new raw materials are needed for a new generation of products. This conserves resources and reduces energy consumption.
Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash